News in Numbers: 62% of small farmers borrowed from non-institutional lenders, says report
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What is it? The revised revenue target of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for fiscal 2018.
Why is it important? This is a 40% reduction from the projection made by the finance ministry, of Rs47,305 crore. The dipping revenues of Indian operators has led to a drop in licence fees (8%) and spectrum usage charges (3-6% of gross revenue) paid to DoT.
Tell me more: DoT says the fourth quarter licence fees is Rs2,686 crore, down from Rs3,450 crore in the third quarter. The gross revenue, according to Business Standard, was Rs2.10 trillion in FY17, from Rs2.36 trillion in FY16. In May, an inter-ministerial panel was constituted to bring relief to the financially strained telecom sector through policy reforms.
What is it? The number of Tata Motors’ shares Tata Sons will buy from Tata Steel.
Why is it important? It’s an indicator that Tata Sons is reducing cross-holdings among its group companies. Tata Sons’s stake would increase from the current 28.71%, and Tata Steel’s will go down to nil from 2.9% in Tata Motors. Tata Motors still owns 0.46% in Tata Steel. Tata Steel had earlier brought down its stake in Titan.
Tell me more: Tata Sons was reportedly planning to spend about Rs7,000 crore to buy shares from group companies and reduce cross-holding.
What is it? The number of people killed in a raging forest fire in central Portugal since Saturday.
Why is it important? Portugal is prone to forest fires during the summer months, but this disaster has been termed the country’s biggest tragedy in memory by its prime minister Antonio Costa. People were killed in their cars, trapped by the flames as they tried to evacuate.
Tell me more: A lightning strike during a dry thunderstorm (in which the rain evaporates before hitting the ground due to heat) and caused a forest fire.
What is it? The percentage of marginal farmers (those with less than 1 hectare of land) that have borrowed from non-institutional lenders.
Why is it important? Non-institutional lenders include moneylenders, family and friends, according to PRS Legislative Research based on 2013 data. This suggests that farm loan waivers—being considered by some state governments—will have minimal impact on marginal farmers. In contrast, in case of large (10+ hectares) and medium (4-10 hectares) farmers, loans from non-institutional sources stand at 21% and 29%, respectively.
Tell me more: Among states, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have most number of households in debt—at 93%, 89% and 83%, respectively. The all-India average is about 52%. Reserve Bank of India (RBI), among others, has pointed out the negative impact of farm loan waivers in the recent past.
What is it? Grace time for filing goods and services tax (GST) returns post its planned launch on 1 July.
Why is it important? This will help Indian companies, especially small businesses, transition to the new system, which requires them to file three returns a month. Some have raised concerns that the country might not be ready yet for GST, given the complexity of the new tax laws, and the current IT infrastructure in the country. They have proposed that it should be either postponed or rolled out in phases, starting with a few industries. But GST Council, which governs GST under the chairmanship of India’s finance minister, has said there will be no delay.
Tell me more: GST Council also approved an anti-profiteering authority to penalise businesses that don’t pass on the benefits of GST to customers. The authority will be in force for two years.
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